tv John King USA CNN August 11, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
thanks for watching. "john king usa" starts now. thanks, anderson, good evening, everyone. eight republicans who hope to be the next president share to stage in iowa tonight and for a good while six of them. just spectators has two candidates with must-win iowa strategies. congresswoman michele bachmann and governor tim pawlenty everybody issed up what you might call a feisty serving of minnesota spice. >> in congress, her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent. that's not going to be good enough for our candidate for president of the united states. >> governor, when you were governor in minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state and you praised the unconstitutional individual mandateean you called for requiring all people in our state to purchase health insurance that government would manda mandate. third you said the era of small government was over. that sounds a lot more like barack obama, if you ask me. >> she's got a record of misstating and making false statements and that's another
example of that list, she says that she's fighting for these things, she fought for less government spending. we got a lot more. she led the effort against obama care, we got obama care. she led the effort against t.a.r.p. we got t.a.r.p. she said she's got a titanium spine. it's record of her results. please stop because you're killing us. >> tonight also the debate debut of jon huntsman who urged conservatives not to be turned away by his moderate views on gay rights and his service as president obama's ambassador to china. >> that's exactly what needs to happen in this nation. i am running on my record. and i'm proud to run on my record. when elected president, i'm simply going to prove to the american people that we can secure the border.
>> remember when governor pawlenty blinked in our cnn debate when given a chance to criticize mitt romney to his face? well, tonight consider obama care the sequel. >> obama care was patterned after the mitt's plan in massachusetts and for mitt or anyone else to say that there aren't substantial similarities or they're not essentially the same plan, it just isn't credible so that's why i called it obama care and i think that's a fair label and i'm happy to call it that again tonight. >> i think i like tim's answer in the last debate better. >> there were fireworks on immigration, creating jobs in the debt ceiling. two on one of mose host to issues the attacks were named on the man not on the stage barack obama. how did tonight's showdown reshape the crowd of the republican race, ask two cnn contributors plugged into the fight to lead the right. alex castellanos and eric ericsson, redstate.com blog. your headline coming in here, both bachmann and pawlenty have
a strategy in which they have to win iowa which means they've got do pretty well in this weekend's iowa straw poll. you saw a lot of sparks between these two. who won? >> in the tough battle between bachmann and pawlenty, there is one clear winner, mitt romney. he sidestepped all of the punches tonight. he looked very presidential. romney emerged i think from what they called a mitmus protection program. he must have been hiding in the white house because he looked very prepared and he the stature of a president tonight. i think paul enltsy quiverred a bit on stage tonight. he was not as forceful as he perhaps needed to be. you know if last election was about hope and change, this election is about strength and certainty. and michele bachmann displayed a lot of that tonight. the word here on the ground, john is that michele bachmann's troops have all of the passion but she doesn't have the organization. pawlenty doesn't have the passion but has the organization.
so michele bachmann fed that passion tonight. >> and we'll see how that plays out saturday straw poll. eric ericsson, great debate tonight in the sense of the stakes, which is of course in the short term, the iowa straw poll, but then of course a long way to go to the iowa caucuses and beyond. >> right, i would agree with alex that mitt romney came off as the clear winner here because a lot of the blows towards him fell flat in between the santorum/paul fight over foreign policy and the bachmann and pawlenty fight, who knew ames was not big enough for two minnesotans? i think mitt romney was really protected for a lot of that and came off looking as the winner. i would say, though, mitt didn't have a lot to lose here because he's really not participating in the iowa straw poll. he lost in the state and this time is not engaged in the straw poll which i think going into it i think psychologically helped him more than the others as well. the other candidate list a lot pleasure to win tonight than mitt romney did. >> let me ask you about the debut of governor huntsman. he like governor romney is not looking like he will invest too
much time or money in iowa. governor romney trying to protect his national front run are status. just governor huntsman essentially trying to get into the top tier of the pact. eric, to you first on that one. he said, i'm for civil unions, that's my opinion, and others can disagree with me. but he also was pretty firm ohey, i cut taxes, you created jobs as utah governor, how did he do it in his first introduction? >> you know it wasn't as bad as i thought he might have done. although, i think the long run headline tonight for jon huntsman is they asked him, where's your economic plan? it's not on your website. the first things out of his mouth is, it's coming. all other candidates have an economic plan. jon huntsman's been it in for a while. i think the sound bite that comes back and haunts him. >> alex, governor huntsman do anything to shake it up? he's been in a the race now for a few months and a long way to go but he's sort of been stagnant. >> he's -- i think he restrained his charisma a little bit tonight but you know, tonight we
saw the field mature a little bit. we looked at these candidates for the first time in the post-ceiling debacle. and we were look for very serious leadership and you could see mitt romney i think separate himself from the pact but i don't think that window's closed on someone like huntsman at all. now i think they'll be more serious look at huntsman, at rick perry and the field is going to resolve itself in to that. >> you mentioned the debt ceiling debate. i think we have the photos here. the moderator brett bare asked at one point, raise your hand if you were president today and that super committee or some other committee came up with a deal that essentially was $10 in tax cuts for every 1 -- $10 in tax cuts -- i'm sorry $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases, asked them all to raise their hands, and they all raised their hands. that is powerful are republicans in the primaries. but eric and alex, could that come back? one of them may be the nominee, maybe. may be palin.
they were not there tonight. could that haunt them? maybe a lot of independents will say you will give $10 for spending cuts for $1 in tax increases and you say no? >> well, it kind of maybes you prourkd doesn't it. >> i don't know if this is a big issue. >> i think -- no, no, i think what republicans will do at that point is say, look, we believe money in people's pockets are the seeds of growth and the more of them we plant, the more the economy will grow, the more revenue we have. and they'll be able to quote john f. kennedy, who said exactly the same thing. so i think as long as that's coup weld a message of growth and hope and optimism, we know how to plant the seeds of growth in the fertile seeds it's fertile soil of the private sector and not in the sterile concrete of washington, i think republicans will be okay there. >> i want you to listen here. i thought former speaker newt gingrich turned in a pretty strong performance tonight. now his campaign has been round inering so it's a question of, will it make a difference? listen here, he developed a very sharp criticism for the president's leadership in
general and also this supercommittee that's been created to try to get more deficit reduction. >> i thought the president's speech in el paso, where he talked about moats and alligators is the perfect symbol as a failure as a lead perphe failed to get any immigration reform through when he controlled the senate and he controlled the house. he ran through obama care but he couldn't deal with immigration. now he has republicans in the house in charge and he descends to a level of attack, which i think is very sad for a president of the united states on an issue like that. >> that, eric, i am certificate former speaker on immigration and also had very sharp criticism on the president's economic leadership in the supercommittee as well. pretty strong performance. will it make a difference? >> no. newt gingrich's problem has never been his debate performance. he's had fantastic debate performances the entire time. but his problems are organizational, managerial, financial. no one can deny newt gingrich is
not an excellent debater or speaker. they don't get anyone to the white house. >> at the top, we played governor pawlenty actually turning to mitt romney and using the term obama care. they were couple feet apart. michele bachmann in the middle tonight. he said obama care. he stood by it. that was a redo of this moment from our debate. >> why would you chose -- choose those words maybe in the comfort of a sunday show studio, your rival standing right there. it was obama care on "fox news sunday" why is not obama care with the governor standing right there. >> president obama is the person whoim quoted saying he looked to massachusetts for designing his program. he's the one wo said it a blueprint and he merge said the two programs and soution the term obama care was a refliction of the president's comments that he designed obama care on the massachusetts health care plan. >> alex, to you first. is it forgotten because he was tougher tonight than he was the first go-round or will that linger?
>> i think it lingers because he was -- he was not really a lot stronger tonight. he quiverred a bit when he was even challenging mitt romney this evening and again you want to see strength in your candidate. every republican was looking that the debate tonight saying, is this someone i'd want to have standing next to barack obama in a debate? and i think you'd have to say romney passed that test tonight. huntsman, still a question mark. could. but i didn't see anyone else on that stage who did. even newt gingrich, who i agree there a great debate performance but he couldn't even get along with fox news, you know? he got into a fist fight with the panelist from fox news. so a divisive force like that is not the person somebody whole want toy. >> that desfwliet eric and alekts, appreciate your comment. more on this tomorrow and still of course here tonight. proof what goes down must come up. stocks surge as a roller coaster week on wall street takes another twist and next back up to iowa where this weekend's
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entirely possible a vote in iowa this weekend will end the candidacy or two. it's the ames straw poll where the candidates pay for the best space in the hall and then pay more if they like to bus supporters in from all across the state. what it is a big fund-raiser for the state republican party and a big event, like it or not, in the nomination contest. so who has the upper hand? and who might be a former candidate? not long after the votes are counted. and howl new moves by two republicans not on the straw poll ballot. matt straw is the party chairman and rich sarpd a longtime republican iowa activist who is supporting mitt romney this cycle. straw poll ballot first for our viewers out in ames. we know on the ballot is congresswoman bachmann. we know mr. cain the businessman, herman cain. mccotter many people may not know he's a congressman from mitch. ron small very well known. governor pawlenty from minnesota, senator santorum from
pennsylvania, former gingrich is on the ballot, governor huntsman makes his appearance on the ballot. but say governor pawlenty from neighboring minnesota, he's put a lot into the state of iowa, if he comes in third or fourth, is he still in this race? >> well, you know, that will be a decision, you know, that the various campaigns will have to make seeing where they place on saturday evening. but what i can tell you is that he's got a very robust organization that he's put in place here with an infrastructure that will deliver those pawlenty votes that they have around the state, but, you know, i'm a sports guy, so that's why they play the game. we'll find out on saturday how the candidates fare. >> that is why they play the game, and it's a fun game you play in iowa with the straw poll and the caucuses. governor romney sort of have kwtd the new york times" is calling an in and out relationship with the state of iowa. he's been playing downey, specially the significance of the straw poll, saying, sure he'll still be around but will he invest a lot in the caucuses. what is your sense?
we do know a lot of romney supporters in the state, i've gotten a phone call saying it would help us out if you come to ames. is he all-in, or is he being cute here? >> i think his national strategy is to try to play more national this time and not as much in iowa. i was a big supporter of his in 2007 and one of the reasons i'm uncommitted to this point is that they're not playing aggressively in iowa as i would like. so, i'm puzzled also exactly what the strategy is. i told him what i think it should be, but i'm not quite sure what it. >> okay. as two guys who are invested in iowa, i want to ask you first about this, governor rick perry, he's not on the straw poll ballot, although people could write him in. he will declare on saturday in south carolina, he's going to fly to new hampshire and iowa, mr. chairman to you first, in terms of the buzz, you've heard it in past cycles, people say, oh, this is the field, we want somebody new. compared to, say, around the buzz to fred thompson in 2008, what is it around rick perry now? >> i think we recognize that by
adding a write-in, it's the first time we've added a write-in policy, and it speaks to the fluid and unsettled nature of the field currently and there are activists around the state that are encouraging a rick perry write-in, but we look forward to seeing him in waterloo on sunday. and just like anybody who comes to the iowa caucuses, to be successful, you need to be on the ground here looking iowans in the eye and giving them a chance to ask you a tough question, so i know from iowa republicans i talk to, that's the expectation when they see rick perry here, just like everybody else, he'll have to go through the process. >> he won't be participating actively at least in the straw poeshlgs but he's getting geared up and giving every indication he'll play hard for the caucuses. i want you to listen to an interview from wmur, our new hampshire affiliate, he thinks he's as good or probably better in his view than the rest of these guys and congresswoman. >> i happen to think that i'm as qualified or better qualified than anyone in the field to not only make that claim, but to lay out that vision and then lay out those principles that have worked truly well in texas.
we've created more jobs than any other state in the nation, as a matter of fact, in the last two years we've created almost half of all of the jobs created in america. >> any chance, that if your last candidate, mr. romney, doesn't hit the accelerator in iowa, you could end up with governor perry? >> well, i think it's possible. i mean, i'm very excited about the entire field we have. i think we're pleased that we have such a wide array of choices. i fully expect to be enthusiastic about somebody. and i could probably take a very good case for almost all of them. certainly governor perry is somebody who i will look forward to getting to know. >> i want to ask you both about governor palin. she's going to come to the state there. she's not on the straw poll ballot. many us for a long time have assumed governor palin is not running. let me close this one down and bring this one up. it works a little better this way if you do it right. i'm showing our viewers a poll for standing among republican voters and how many republicans what percentage want her to be the nominee. you see since the 2008 campaign it's gone up and peaked up, 12%
now of republicans nationally want governor palin to be their nominee. that's down from 32% just after the 2008 campaign. mr. chairman, is it fine that she's coming out this week or if she's not a candidate, should she stay out and let the others get the attention? >> well, the iowa -- the iowa state fair's a great place, so, you know, i'm sure she's heard the rumors that it's the place to be here in iowa, so we welcome her there. but i think if she is serious about taking steps to run for president, she'll be here over labor day weekend, she needs to do the things proven what you need to do to be successful in the iowa caucuses which is get here and let the voters ask tough questions. this isn't the type of process where you can give speeches to thousands or you can, you know, be behind 30-second ads or even facebook posts. you need to be on the ground letting iowans look you in the eye and kick the tires and i think if you do that then, you know, you have the potential to see the numbers move that you cited. >> does it bother you that she's coming in, she says she'll decide eventually, but in a week
that is so important to so many of other candidates, does it bother you that she's coming in? because as you know, she's pretty good at stealing the spotlight. >> no, i'm happy she's coming. i hope she comes back and often. more of the possible candidates, enthusiastic people, it's good for the state. we welcome them all. >> welcome them all. two good diplomats in iowa tonight. we appreciate your time. >> it's an iowa night. >> i'm the former chairman, too. >> i'm sure one of you will be secretary of state if a republican wins the next election. gentlemen, appreciate your time tonight. you can check the 401(k) tonight. it will look better than last night. there's a prominent democrat keeping a close eye on the those republicans out in iowa. 2012 strategist, david axelrod right here with his take on the gop and the jobs debate. [ female announcer ] can your pancake mix do this? ♪ ♪
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welcome back. here's the latest news you need to know right now. another case of whiplash on wall street. the dow industrials closed up 423 points gaining back most of yesterday's 520-point loss. reuters reporting european market regulators just announced that france, italy, spain, and belgium will ban the short selling of stocks starting tomorrow. more than 1,000 people have been arrested in the british riots. four nights of rioting caused at least $161 million in damage. amnesty international is demanding that nato investigate whether a monday strike on
moammar gadhafi's forces killed 85 libyan civilians including 33 children. nato says it has no evidence of civilian casualties at this point. when we come back, it's not just the republican candidates in iowa, the president's top strategist is there too, david axelrod joins us about the republican field and the president's re-election challenge. aspirin regimen. talk to your doctor, and take care of what you have to take care of.
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all the republican candidates out in iowa, they will debate, most will participate in a big straw poll, republicans, though, don't have the state to themselves. there with a watchful eye on them is the man directing the president's re-election campaign, david axelrod. we spoke just a short time ago. david axelrod, i want to start with some complaints, not from the right, i know you're in iowa watching the republicans, but from the left. a lot of the liberals are complaining that why isn't the president more tough and more aggressive with the republicans. i want you to listen to the president on the road today complaining about gridlock in washington, because this is one of the things that makes some of his friends on the left mad. let's listen. >> the only thing preventing the bill from being passed is the refusal of some folks in congress to put country ahead of party. there's some in congress right now who would rather see their opponents lose than see america win. >> as you know, there are a lot of democrats who say why won't he say republicans? why does he say some in
congress? >> well, i think he's gone -- he's torn after the republicans in congress quite a bit, and particularly during this last period. you know, i heard him and you heard him say that a lot. and there's absolutely no doubt that there were republicans, including some of these presidential candidates, who we're going to hear from tonight, who are actually counseling that the united states of america default on its debt and walk away from his obligations because they thought it would be -- because they wanted to score political points with their -- the base of their parties. so, i don't think anybody's confused about -- about the reference when he -- when he makes it. >> you make that case, and you make it strongly, and i'm sure you and the president will continue to make it through the campaign. let me ask you as a veteran strategist, a guy who knows how to frame campaigns, is there some risks, facts or not, the president being out there saying the problem in washington is gridlock when he campaigned in the first campaign promising to make it different, promising he
could end it? >> you know, nobody can accuse the president of not trying to forge a bipartisan agreement. nobody can accuse him of not trying to find compromise. in fact, some on the -- on the left of our party have complained because they feel that he has tried too hard to do that. the resistance has not come from them, however, the resistance has come from the republican leaders in congress, and that's been their strategy. and now that whole attitude has infected the republican presidential race. they're all speaking in those same terms, that, you know, we should be absolutist, that we should take the most extreme positions, and we should not yield and we should not compromise. well, that's not the way democracy works, and it's not the way we're going to move this country forward. >> i want to get so tom of those candidates in a minute but i want to focus on the broad challenge for the president, of course, and that's the economy. he's out in michigan campaigning, he's going to be
across the midwest over the next few days campaigning trying to make his case. how is obama handling the economy? that's the question in our new poll this week. 34% of americans, essentially one-third of americans approve, 64% disapprove, david axelrod. how are things going in the country today, we asked? 24% say, well, 75% say badly. again, as a veteran political strategist, you know trying to re-elect an incumbent when one-third, one-third approve of how he's handling the economy, and three-fourths think he's heading in the wrong direction. that's a steep hill to get an incumbent re-elected. >> the question they'll ask themselves going into the polling booth is not just about president obama but also about the path that the other side wants to take. and do they believe that tax cuts for the wealthy and tax loopholes for big corporations should be prized more than education, prized more than the research and development that creates jobs and the innovation sector, prized more than clean energy jobs, prized more than rebuilding our roads and bridges
so we can put people to work and improve our country, prized more than social security and medicare. those are the kinds of issues that are going to be on the ballot in 2012. and i absolutely believe that the president's vision is one that is rooted in our values and it's one that most americans support, and we're going to win the election. >> that is the choice you hope to frame in the next election. as you know, many republicans will try to make it a referendum, they will say this president hasn't kept his promises. one thing the president has promised repeatedly, we went back through the last 2 1/2 years, is to shift his focus and to pivot to almost a singular focus on one issue, one word. let's listen -- >> my bottom line is to make sure that we are saving or creating 4 million jobs. this is my administration's overriding focus, having brought the economy back from the brink, the question is, how are we going to make sure that people are getting back to work. job creation will be our number one focus in 2010.
my number one focus is going to be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs. >> i'm not naive, david axelrod. i covered the building for 8 1/2 years. i've watched democrats as president, republicans as president, and things come up when you're the president of the united states and the leader of the free world, but, again, in a campaign environment which you know full well, how does the president make the case that i was not distracted by this, i was not distracted by this, i've kept my pledge to focus on issue number one? >> well, first of all, john, let's -- let's stipulate the fact that there's 15 months to go here and the president's goal right now should not be how to -- how to approach the electorate, the president's goal should be how do we fight every day to get additional steps to move this economy forward. we were losing 750,000 jobs a month when he became president, we've had 17 straight months of job growth, but it's not nearly enough. how do we accelerate that process? how do we rebuild middle-class economic security?
he's got a series of things that he wants the congress to act on and act on quickly, from extending the payroll tax cuts, to passing trade treaties to level the playing field so we can sell our products overseas to reforming these patent laws so small businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors can get their products to market. there's a three-year backlog right now. to passing a new roads program so we can put people back to work rebuilding this country, and the infrastructure program. there are lots of things that we can do and we can do right now to move this country forward, to accelerate the economy, and to create more jobs, and the question is, are we going to play politics for the next 15 months, or are we going to get down to work. and his hope and his challenge to the congress when they return is to get down to work and do the things that are necessary to move this economy forward. >> you mention the time between now and the election and i hope it is well spent, but the president clearly knows this
argument is coming. governor romney says in a new video, obama isn't working. republicans have been critical of his record on the economy and jobs in recent days and the republicans are well aware this is coming. listen to the president back home at a fund-raiser wednesday night -- >> when i said change we can believe in, i didn't say change we can believe in tomorrow. not change we can believe in next week. we knew this was going to take time. because we've got this big, messy, tough democracy. >> we've got this big, messy, tough democracy won't fit on a bumper sticker. how does it work in 2012? what is it, change takes time? keep the change? how do you frame it, david? >> i think the president has a very clear vision of how we recover from this recession and restore the -- the economic security of the middle-class, and those things are related. and that's what this fight is going to be about. it's not going to be about bumper stickers, it's going to
be about real lives and about how we lift our economy in a way that's fair, that gives people broad opportunity, that lets people live the lives they want to live. that's the debate people are looking for. >> we learned today that governor perry of texas is definitely in the race. he's going to announce on saturday. governor romney at the moment is perceived as the front-runner. your campaign has spent a little bit of time focusing on him. when david axelrod sits around and looks at the electoral map and sees the strengths and weaknesses as you see them in the republican field, who worries you more, the guy from boston or the guy from austin? >> well, john, i can't answer that question for one simple reason, i haven't seen the candidates out there. the one thing having watched my candidate campaign two years for president, these campaigns are very revealing. people find out exactly who you are. they test you. they test your ideas. just today at the state fair, governor romney had a curious exchange with someone there in which he kind of bellicosely said corporations are people,
too, when the man was asking why he would value tax cuts for corporations more than strengthening social security and medicare. and, you know, that was a revealing moment. i don't know how rick perry's going to be as a candidate for president. nobody really does. so, let's let this campaign play out and see how these candidates present themselves, and i think we'll know more down the line. >> i want to ask you about something in our new poll out today. we ran horse race numbers, a lot of the republicans are running for the president up against president obama, you're right, it's a long way off but it does tell us a bit how people think right now. if you look at the president running against governor perry, the president 51%. governor perry 46%. against bachmann, the president gets 51%. the congresswoman gets 45%. those are two candidates, perry and bachmann, i would say are on the right of the republican field. if you look at one candidate and one potential candidate, we don't think will run, but maybe will run, who are more
center/right, giuliani, 51%. obama, 45%. obama, 49%. romney, 48%. so, if you take candidates or prospective candidates more to the middle, center/right but more to the middle, they tend to do better against the president which tells me your biggest problem in this campaign is going to be the middle. >> here's the problem with your reasoning, john, first of all, perry and bachmann aren't nearly as well known as giuliani and romney, and that obviously gives giuliani and romney an advantage in that test. but the bigger flaw in your reasoning is you assume there is a center/right in the republican party anymore, and the fact is that mitt romney has made it very clear that he's willing to throw in with the tea party crowd and the most strident voices in his party. he did it again today when he was talking about taxes and corporations are people, too, and so, you know, i don't think -- i think the center -- the center of the republican party has collapsed. and what you have are a bunch of folks coming out of that tea party, the most strident group in the republican party, and a
bunchch of g of guying knocks on the door asking to get in. and for that reason i don't know how much of a conclusion i'd draw from your analysis. >> david axelrod, looking forward to the fight. some governing first. appreciate your time today from ames, iowa. "anderson cooper 360" coming up at the top of the hour, after three days in africa, he's in abu dhabi in the united arab emirates, joining us with a preview, what do you got? >> reporter: the latest in somalia, the crisis just escalating, the u.s. said it will donate even more money than they've given so far, but still a lot more money is needed. a lot more aid is needed. not enough in the pipeline, as you know. the world food program saying they'll run out of food in three weeks. we've got more, john, tonight on the breaking news, the new republican presidential contender, texas governor rick perry said this is what i'm supposed to be doing when i run for the white house, we'll talk about how it will affect front-runner mitt romney and for that matter president obama.
paul begala, eric ericsson joins us on that. and keeping them honest, is mitt romney trying to have it both ways with the budget deficit and taxes, he's on board with the gop plan of cutting the federal deft sit without raising taxes, and we checked his record and his administration highlighted state tax increases to try to get a debt upgrade from s&p. we're keeping them honest. also another american missing in aruba. this woman, robyn gardner is her name. police is a suspect in custody. we'll have a live report. and tonight's "ridiculous" is back at the top of the hour, that and more at the top of the hour. >> thank you, anderson. we'll see you in a few minutes. . when we return here, syria. why is the united states now hesitating to say "assad must go." cial cleanser from neutrogena® naturals. developed with dermatologists... it's clinically proven to remove 99% of dirt and toxins and purify pores. and with natural willowbark
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more evidence there of the crackdown in syria. that is a youtube video posted. that's damascus, a small crowd of demonstrators and you hear the gunfire and you see the security forces come into the scene. the crackdown continuing for months and the big debate in washington over when the obama administration should say president assad of syria must go. we told you the other night the administration was nearing that point, actually had made a decision, but there's still a bit of a tug-of-war about when to make that announcement. the conversation with the senior fellow from the hoover institution and nick burns the former undersecretary of state and the former u.n. ambassador to nato. gentlemen, i want to start first
with this debate, this divide in the administration, whether to flat-out use the term assad must go. i was told earlier in the week the administering was prepared to do that, but now i'm told there's a bit of a tug-of-war about whether it makes sense for the united states to do that now. among those saying perhaps best that we wait a bit is the secretary of state. listen to this, though, where she comes close -- >> i think we've been very clear in what we have said about his loss of legitimacy. i think we were among the very first to say it, but it's important that it's not just the american voice. and we want to make sure that those voices are coming from around the world. >> nick burns, you've been involved in these kinds of debates and conversations while in government. we want to make clear it's not just the american voice. why does the secretary of state think that's important before she or president obama goes out and says assad must go? >> you know, john, i think this argument is really heating up in washington. there are some who believe that if the united states openly calls for the ouster of the
assad regime, it will somehow embolden the regime, give them the excuse saying the united states is behind the protests. of course, that's nonsense. everyone knows it's not true. the administration obviously wants to see other countries take this step along with them, but, you know, the voice of the united states is a very strong one. and if the -- if the obama administration can get behind this state unequivocally that assad should leave power, i think it will have a dynamic impact on the european allies. you're already seeing turkey distance itself from the assad regime and you're seeing arab countries, saudi arabia, kuwait, bahrain, say quite critical things this week. so, i think it's time for the administration to make this move. >> you have long argued it's time if not past time. what do you make of this debate about whether the united states should act alone or as, nick points out, that's the crux of it, wait for the europeans, wait for the turks? >> well, we're in the era of leading from behind. this is now unfortunately the obama foreign policy, and one says it sadly. one doesn't enjoy saying this
about one's own country and one's own government. we have no choice but to make this statement. the world is waiting for this statement. and surely we know that when we say that assad must go, it doesn't mean he's going to pack his bags and go look for a place that would have him, but it will alter the moral and strategic landscape, it will tell the syrians they're not alone, it will tell the merchants in damascus who have stood by while hama has suffered, it's time now to begin to think about a new future for syria beyond the assad dynasty. it will matter greatly. it will matter for our own reputation, and it will matter for our own good name. 2,000 people have been killed and we've waited and wait toad long. >> nick, we've seen the saudis speak out and condemn what they call the killing machine. the president of the united states today had a conversation with the prime minister of turkey, explain why that may be key to what goes forward? >> the prime minister of turkey has had a close relationship with bashar al assad for quite
some time, you saw the turkish prime minister foreign minister two days ago in damascus a rather unsuccessful meeting and the statement released by the turkish and the american governments, said the turks were not willing to call for the ouster of assad himself. i think it's time for the united states to use the pressure that we do have and the credibility we do have to begin moving the turks. and an early announcement by the united states i think would do that. this situation is trending away from assad. it's now in its fifth month. he has used an extraordinary level of brutal force against dictators, more than 2,000 as the professor has said, 2,000 innocent people have been killed. it really is time in my judgment for the united states to make this decision, to be very clear and unequivocal about the fact that assad has to step down. >> and fuoard, in an interview with cbs, the secretary of state was remarkably candid.
she said yes the united states announced sanctions. we talked about those the other day, but she said it will really only matter, in her words to sanction the oil and gas energy, meaning the europeans who buy oil and energy from syria, so why is this important? >> secretary burns, nick knows this. we know, for example that during the bosnia horrors as people were being massacred in srebrenica, the europeans stood by. when they take the lead, they tried to take the lead on libya, it hasn't worked out well. i think we should understand our own privacy in the world. we should honor our own primacy. it's what the people in the region and the middle east really respond to so that will return now to the fact that the president has not yet called on bashar al assad to step down. you call on him to step down in fact you just really alter the
landscape psychologically an you encourage the europeans to come out and do what must be done. >> watching for months is whether there would be any cracks in the regime. we watched it play out in egypt. we're watching in libya and we've been asking that question in syria. on the front page of the "new york times" he writes an article in which he's beginning to see some cracks in his source. quote they're starting to be divided and you have people in the government who are getting frustrated with assad and his security officials. nick, do you believe that is possible of what faroud calls a mafia machine could crumble from the inside. >> i do continuing is possible and it's an extraordinary thing, john, because for 40 years now have ruled with an iron fist. you haven't seen this type of dissension within the syrian government. you've had a resignation of the defense minister. you now have sanctions maloof the president, very well the cousin of bashar al assad. you can see this regime
beginning to fray around the edges the way that you saw gadhafi's regime begin to fall a part. this may take time, it may not be imminent but it's very significant to see these voices of dissent within the syrian government within the last week. >> i appreciate your insights tonight, gentlemen, thank you. >> thank you. roving mobs in the street, attacking, assaults, terrorizing strangers, passersby. we're not talking about the london riots. it's happening right here in the united states. we'll tell you, we'll show you where next. h probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
imagine this, happening in your community, roving mobs in the street, attacking, assaulting, and terrorizing passersby. yes that could describe the london riots but it also describes what's been this happening summer in philadelphia. violence and mayhem caused by groups called flash mobs. is this kind of behavior something to blame on unemployment, society or ourselves, parents and our teenagers? the philadelphia mayor michael nutter did not mince words when he addressed his city's young people this thursday. >> you damage yourself, you damage another person, you damage your peers and your own race. >> with us is the chief commissioner of philadelphia. chief ramsey, i appreciate your time tonight. on july 29th you have teens beating up random strangers. among those arrested an 11-year-old boy. what are these flash mobs about? what is the problem?
>> well, it's kind of complicated in terms of what they're exactly about but they communicate through social media and through text message iing a they can show up at any given time, at any given place in very, very large numbers. unfortunately, there are a few that have begun single out people and assaulting them and that's the problem. >> you say using social media. that makes it pretty hard for you to stop. how do you do to try to track it? >> well, we do the best we can to try to track it. fortunately we have had parents and even some young people call us and tell us when these things are about to develop. but we don't always get that message. that's what happened a couple of weeks ago. we were unaware that these mobs were going to form. >> if you listen to the mayor there on the pulpit. a pretty strong message, a stern message to african-american youth. this is a problem just in the african-american community or more widespread? >> so far it's been limited to the african-american community as far as the mobs themselves go. but they've been singling out people primary if our inner-city
district. one of of the things that the mayor did do is impose a curfew for the areas serving people 17 years and younger. and hopefully that will help us. >> is that helping you and how do you sustain that something at a time when city and local budgets are under a lot of strain now. having a higher curfew means having a higher police presence. >> it does mean having a higher police presence. we'll have cops down at cedar center and other parts as well. we have do whatever we have to do. we simply cannot allow this to continue. so whatever the cost is, we just have to bear it and do what we need to do in order to keep the public safe. >> and the question people ask is why is this happening. some people point to the fact that we have the 39% unemployment rate among those age 16 to 19 in the city of philadelphia. is this to blame on a bad economy? >> i don't really think so, these are just ignorant kids out there doing things they absolutely shouldn't be doing. unemployment, education, not
excuses to go out and randomly target people and beat them up. there's just absolutely no excuse for it. it's just stupid. it's ignorant and i just can't find any other words to describe it. >> as we watch you you used pretty tough words there and they're pretty necessary words, chief. i agree with you. i want you to listen with the mayor again. first the mayor. >> we cannot raise people's children. you want to have children, you have to take care of them. we can help you, provide services, support, all kinds of stuff. but we are not going to tolerate this kind of senseless, stupid, ignorant, violent acts. even episodically as they may occur on the streets of our city. >> that's the mayor of philadelphia speaking there. across the atlantic you've seen rioting in london in the last couple of days. a lot of tragic, sensible beatings. listen to the prime minister of the united kingdom. >> i said before that there is a major problem in our society with children growing up, not knowing the difference between right and wrong. this is not about poverty.